Abbaye Des Rocs [Brasserie Des Rocs Brune] | Brasserie de l'Abbaye des Rocs s.a.

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Abbaye Des Rocs [Brasserie Des Rocs Brune]Abbaye Des Rocs [Brasserie Des Rocs Brune]

Brewed by:
Brasserie de l'Abbaye des Rocs s.a.

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 07-13-2002

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Ratings: 501 |  Reviews: 322
Photo of BretSikkink
4.3/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful brown into des Rocs chalice, pretty effervescent head. Whole lot of yeasty aroma - fruity, estery - and bready malt, leaning toward the dark side. The taste is incredibly smooth, I find it tart at first but a little sweet toward the end of the mouthful. Possibly the hops or maybe some spicing I find a little off, taste-wise. I agree that it is extremely drinkable, masks 9% with ease, and is a great example of Belgian strong darks, although perhaps not as dark as some. However, I would be wary to recommend to a non-geek. It's a beautiful beer for those who like that sort of thing.

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Photo of guitarmage
4.59/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a cloudy maple, the foamy head formed easily but dissipated quickly. Ring around the glass, a few bubbles linger.

Smell: Sweet brown sugar malt melds with a nice spiciness, peppery, caramel, alcohol, coriander.

Taste: Sweet malt makes a short appearance, and then a spiciness comes in, coriander, anise, warming alcohol, peppery hops linger but aren't prominent.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and smooth with pricklely tight carbonation, smooth and tasty.

Drinkability: A lot light in overall flavor, savory compared to other Belgian Strong Dark Ales, which are sweeter, this is peppery and light, tasty and easy to drink.

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Photo of BillyB
4.29/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice dark brown with a rocky two fingered tannish-brown head.
Noticed some yeast sediment floating around in bottle and glass.

Aromas of dark fruits, plums, raisins, prunes, candy sugars, even some over-ripe pear.

Tastes fantastic! Very fruity(dark) and sweet from candy sugar. Alcohol is not noticeable at all. Earthy, woody, dates, figs. Mollasses and vanilla. Very complex. Slightly yeasty taste as well.

Full bodied and slightly syrupy. Nice head retention and leaves some nice belgian lace on the glass.

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Photo of Wasatch
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks Oxymoron

750ml Bottle/Foiled

Pours a clean/clear amber color, nice carbonation, very nice two finger creamy tan head, very nice islands and sticky lacing throughtout the drink. The nose is very nice of malts, grapes, figs, prunes, yeast and caramel. The taste is also delicious of sweet malts, grapes, figs, prunes, with a nice caramel undertone, the ABV is hidden very well. Medium body, a well rounded/complex brew. Very drinkable, an absolutely delicious brew, highly rocommended.

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Photo of zeff80
4.24/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a dark, brown color, almost black. It had a tan, foamy two-finger head that left nice lace.

S - It smelled nutty and malty. It had a sweet and alcohol aroma, too.

T - It tasted malty and hoppy. It had a grassy bitterness, too.

M - It ws crisp and heavy-bodied.

D - This is a good beer. Interestingly it smelled better than it tasted.

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Photo of brdc
4.7/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is an impressive brew!
A beautiful hazy, reddish brown beer with huge chunks of what I presume are yeast sediments, heavily carbonated that starts to leave the bottle upon opening.
A great tart smell, with accompanying bread, bananas, powerful malts, alcohol and perhaps hops - something bitter in there.
The taste is also remarkable, and this full-bodied beauty begins with something tart and acidic, followed by sweet malts, warming alcohol and something dry and tart again at the end, cleaning up the sugars.
Deliciously easy for something so powerful, indeed a remarkable brew, to be had multiple times in the future.

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Photo of sacfly
4.12/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750mL, best before 2008 and something I can’t read
Pours a chunky reddish brown. Large particles of yeast dance in the plentiful carbonation. Thick head of tight tan bubbles. Aroma reminds me of tart fruits. Fermenting apples and plums. Hint of lemon. Taste is not as tart as expected from the aroma. Still there initially, but quickly overwhelmed by the sweet malt and fruit flavors. First thing that comes to mind is apricot, but “darker” if that makes any sense… Maybe “heavy” is a better word? Aftertaste at first seems syrupy, but then dries out. Yeast apparent way in the aftertaste. Nice, complex brew.

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Photo of peabody
4.27/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bubbles ran out of the bottle when I opened up this sucker. Didn't stop coming out till I poured some into this tulip glass. Lots of suds and carbonation are in this murky light amber concoction.
Smell is clove and cinammon and sour apple. Carmely malt in the back there too.
Taste is sour at first then sweet. Like a lemon peel mixed with sugar then the hop shows up and the sweet bitterness I taste must be alcohol. Kiind of a mix between a Petrus Oak and the Grand Cru.
Mouthfeel is very bubbly like champaigne(sp) and the alcohol sweetness stays on the palate for quite a while.
I could drink lots of this #1 if I could find it around here and #2 it wasn't a 9%er.

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Photo of jwc215
4.19/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip glass. Best before end of 2009.

Pours orange/amber with a large, rocky head that descends to a lasting thin head. Too many "floaties" interrupted its clarity, which would have otherwise been very nice.

The smell is of caramel, peppery spice and orange peel. The aroma is reminiscent of spiced fruitcake with a caramel coating.

The taste is spicy and sweet. Caramel and sweet grains are balanced by mix of spices and a touch of pepper. Slightly medicinal in the finish.

The feel is creamy and coating with a bit of a kick. It does thin just a tad, even when suitably warm, but it is almost negligible.

For the abv, this is very drinkable. Goes down smooth with just a bit of the alcohol coming through. It does blend in well, though. Can't say this it's one of my personal favorites from Belgium, but it sure is nice!

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Photo of MuddyFeet
4.1/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

thank you dhchatfield for this bottle and SS'07. Poured nicely into my St. Bernadus glass.

Rich molasses in color. Slightly hazy with some crazy miniscule bubbles of carbonation rising to a thin vener of white hed. I am actually waching bubbles pop on the surface--rather neat. Nose is sweet and dried fruit. Rises slowly up the nasal passages rather than hitting all at once.

Flavor is simply complicated. The first flavor I get is lots of sweet Belgian sugars. So sweet it kind of puckers up the tongue. Then quickly followed by a more subdued fruit sweetness that balances the extreme sweet sugars. Picking out dried apricots, prunes and raisins. Very vinuous in flavor and texture. Yeast gives the beer a nice chewy bread backbone that keeps all the sweetness in check. The alcohol, whole just ever-so-slightly noticeable, provides further balance. Nice full maouthfeel that just allows this beer to slide past the palate into the throat. THen it wafts up to the back of the nose to some fruity esthers. Would be a great dinner beer. Man, I wished I had saved this bottle for later tonight and the Moroccan apricot chicken I got in the clow cooker.

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Photo of mjc410
4.13/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served from a 75 cL bottle, which, after cracking, proceeded to immediately pump out at least eight ounces of beer, causing an incredible mess.

Poured into a Trois Pistoles glass, raises a slight glass ring, which is a very light tan. There's also a bit of significant surface lacing. Glass lacing is sticky, but thin. The beer's body has a murky dark brown core, with an amber top and very slight ruby highlights. The nose is vinous, with a lot of dark fruitiness, sour cherries, caramel, and molasses. Lovely. The taste is initially sweet, but quickly shifts to a lingering, dry bitterness. I find it hard to describe the middle, but it seems to have a dark breadiness, or perhaps sourdough hiding in there. There seems to be some complexity that I can't describe. My distinguished associate, Br. Forner, describes the taste as "church wine." The mouth is definitely on the high side, but very smooth, with almost non-existent carbonation (could be from the beer eruption). An excellent beer, to be sure.

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Photo of tjthresh
4.26/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This thing has a bit of stank on it. Some woodyness. Low level fruitiness. Poured an deep auburn color with an impressive head. This thing is all about subtelty. Nothing really stands out. There is a definate woody character. Very fully yet silky body. I wonder what this beer tastes like a bit fresher.

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Photo of phisig137
4.49/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Cellared one year. Pours a light brown color, with a lot of red showing through. Creamy, thick two finger head has great retention, and slowly falls with delicate lace left behind.

Aroma is incredible. Complex sugars, including malts, brown sugars, candi sugar, and caramel; are all backed by huge dark fruit yeast esters, and a touch of alcohol. Slightly biscuity as well. Very full nose, with complex aromas. I would wear this as cologne if it were socially acceptable.

Flavor is much the same as the nose. Incredible sugar complexity and flavor, but oddly it is not overly sweet. The finish is dry, and leaves with a burst of the yeast esters. Fresh baked bread plays a prominent role in the middle. Slight alcohol warming. Mouthfeel is creamy and heavy. Drinkability is pretty good.

I'm usually mixed about beers from Brasserie Des Rocs, mostly because some bottles sit around here for a while and don't sell, then once a year a distributor will get in a huge shipment. I must have picked up this bottle at the right time last year. Absolutely fantastic after one year in the cellar... but I wish I had waited a few more years on it. I'm just blown away by the complexity of it. Plus, for only $5.99 for a 750mL (did my store screw up?) it is a fantastic value for a belgian beer.

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Photo of atigerlife
4.55/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

[labelled as "Belgian Burgundy ale". Bought a year ago and finally had a good reason to celebrate. Poured into a Chimay chalice.

Slight reddish/burgundy color with a large, creamy brown head that lasts quite a while. Very impressive lookinging in the glass.

Aroma of roasted malts, dark ripened fruit and some sweetness.

Taste is robust. Alcohol, plums, caramel sweetness, malty, bready with some Belgian yeast. Finish is slightly clean and dry. Overall, wonderful! Very complex. Lots of depth.

Mouthfeel is perfect. Nice carbonation, medium bodied and very, very smooth. Couldn't ask for anything more.

Overall, great stuff! Very drinkable. Though it is high in alcohol, the alcohol doesn't dominate. It is a very complex and inviting. Great digestive. Glad I have another one.

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Photo of allengarvin
4.73/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I bought this 2 years ago on a trip. First time to have it. Popped the cap. The cork was moist despite having been stored upright. Poured into a St Bernardus wide-mouthed chalice.

Comes out an absolutely lovely ruby-brown with a thick off-white head and more swirling yeast chunks than I've *ever* seen before, despite a gentle pour. Sweet candied fruit aroma, cherry and ripe sweet apple. Intense malt flavors (rich toffee, licorice, rather nutty and quite sweet), together with some of the most prominant fruity esters I've ever tasted in a beer (think ripe cherries, caramalized slowly in a pan). The tartness in the finish balances the sweetness and accentuates the fruitiness. Just wonderful.

Very impressive. I'd love to get a case of this, but unfortunately it's not sold in my state.

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Photo of Backer2004
4.4/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This was one of the first beers I tried at the Charlotte Oktoberfest, poured by Alex, our BeerFly guide. The 9% wasn't too noticable, spicy plum mixture, with a whole bunch of other flavors that can be described in other rveiews. Just another example of a great Belgian beer that can now be found in Carolina.

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Photo of akorsak
4.2/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a 750 mL bottle of Brune served in a Chimay goblet. The ale is cool to room temperature.

A: The ale is a deep auburn color with big head on pour that does not retain well.

S: Nose is alcohol and fruity, with orange peel standing out. Yeast adds a nice aroma as well.

T: Taste is curacao with hints of cinnamon and thyme. Taste is very intense, on par with the grand cru brown in terms of alefruits and depth.

M: The mouthfeel is a cornucopia of flavors, quite nice.

D: Very dinkable, although the 9% abv is a little high.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4.16/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: I really wanted to like this beer more than I ended up doing, primarily because of all the floaties in it. It really detracted from the experience. Beyond that, it pours a dark hazy amber with a big but not overwhelming head.

S: Rich and winey with a dark caramel malt and yeasty smell. There are stone fruit smells on the finish as well.

T: Complex. Starts with apricot and yeast flavors with some spice and a long dry finish.

MF: Surprisingly dry. Good carbonation, good body. Once again, the sediment is particularly distracting.

D: would be higher but for the chunks of sediment.

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Photo of DaveFL1976
4.03/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this brew at Cafe de Wildeman in Amsterdam. It was served at room temperature and poured into a Belgium chalise. A nice looking beer. Mahogany/cherry brown with a flamy tan head that settled down in fairly short order. The smell? Nice. Caramel, sweet, dark fruit, maybe a little spicy (but that could have been the alcohol). Alcohol was evident in the taste as well. Sweet up front with lots of complex sugars teasing your taste buds. But then the alcohol warms you on the swallow. A nice beer. Medium mouthfeel with pretty darn good drinkability.

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Photo of cbl2
4.11/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

8/29/2005 $6.99 750 mL 9.00% Best before end: 2008 labeled on bottle.


Big bottle is simply capped, not corked. Beer froths over upon opening, then pours a slightly hazy brown with hints of orange. Little to no head, but some lacing from what originates.


Mostly muted, with some hints of sweet malts, and a touch of alcohol, but nothing pops out at you.


Wow! Stunningly smooth, and extremely well balanced. Nice upfront sweet malt characteristic masks the high alcohol content completely. I can't put my finger on why this is great, but it simply is. In the background there are subtle flavor nuances of candied pear/apple. This is an absolute delight.

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Photo of carln26
4.25/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown in color, and very hazy, this beer is topped a thick, long lasting off-white head. The head displays great retention, and is refilled with some champagne bubbles rising from the beer. Deep malty aroma. Dates, figs, spice in the form of nutmeg, cardamom. Just a touch of pear and green apple. Not as much yeast/French bread character in the aroma as I expected, although it is there. The flavor has a bit more spice, touches of nutmeg, a little clove, more of the cardamom. Deep, rich malt in the form of figs, a little dark berry and green apple. Slick, mildly tart mouth feel. Very drinkable, very little alcohol heat.

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Photo of haz77
4.19/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a murky light brown with an inch of tan head. Foamed up on opening and the carbonation is apparent with loads of streamers and chunks of yeast being churned around (despite a careful pour). The head diminishes to about a finger thick.

S - Yeast, candy sugar, dates, pear, toffee, honey, some alcohol.

T - Sweet, coating malts with some background fruits at first. Toffee and dates follow with a rum-like flavour. No trace of alcohol.

M - Medium-full body, coating and silky smooth.

D - Excellent beer and definitely worth trying, but lacks the depth of others in the style.

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Photo of Foxman
4.32/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It pours a deep, flinty clear brownish amber, save for considerable particulate. Two full fingers of pithy light beige head sustan well. Fuzzy lacing slips along the inside of the glass.

The aroma slings a dense roasted malt sweetness, rife with caramel, cocoa, prunes, and vanilla. A vague spicy nature presents itself along with a credible vapor or alcohol.

Upon tasting, there gushes a rich, roasty, slightly charred maltiness, sweet and fruity and notable for its dark caramel, earthy berry, and rounded coffee notes. Plum and black cherry come through, along with a general floral hop signature. Alcohol is a veritable entity, though in no way distracting. The malt sweetness reasserts near the close, and the finish is a steadily more bittering lingerance. Big and full, it's bold, reasonably complex, and quite enjoyable.

Full bodied, it's chewy and the sweet grain coats the palate like savory syrup.

It tastes like it rose from the earth, and I mean that in the best ways: rich, dusky, and hearty. It's complex but nicely blended, and its beefiness is a manly man's delight, if I may be so sexist. The floaties could disconcert, but they're quite inconsequential. The ABV is healthy, and not at all shy, but it's workable with some sound sense. I finished this bottle in the wee hours of Father's Day, which is somehow fitting. Do I smell a new tradition?

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Photo of Conrad
3.61/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

My bottle was stored lying donw in the fridge, and I couldn't see the sediment through the dark glass. So when I poured, a lot of chunky sediment came out and stayed floating in the glass throughout the drink. If the bottle had been stored upright, I'm sure the appearance would have been much better.

Short and to the point:
A: Not pretty. Deep copper-ruby colour. Head was not high, but was very dense.
S: Mild malt, a bit of fruity sweetness that faded fast.
T: Big taste with lots of complex sweet-spicy notes.
M: This changed and became a bit too much as time advanced and the beer warmed. The finish was long, dry, and smooth.
An interesting beer experience, but I won't have another.
Pretty lable for the collectors.

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Photo of Blakaeris
4.32/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours murky red-brown. Head is huge, fizzy, and hangs around awhile.

Smell is sweetly fruity with strong alcohol presence. Yeasty spiciness and pleasant oak notes. Interesting.

Taste is surprisingly spicy with corriander, pepper and nutmeg. A little toffee and chocolate. Strong alcohol and dark fruit flavor lends a brandylike quality. Oak and Vanilla. There is a lot going on here. Sweet malt provides a strong backbone. Finish is smooth and dry.

Mouthfeel is full and round. Generous carbonation.

This is an enjoyable and complex brew. However, the sweetness can become a little cloying as the bottle warms. Still, this is a wonderful treat.

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Abbaye Des Rocs [Brasserie Des Rocs Brune] from Brasserie de l'Abbaye des Rocs s.a.
4.21 out of 5 based on 501 ratings.
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